Hiring timelines vary by industry, so get to know the timeline for your target industry. In general, the more structured the opportunity, the more in advance the organization will hire. See the table below for some examples of recruiting timelines and target industries. Note that these are general guidelines and it can vary depending on the organization.
General Recruiting Timelines for Select Industries
Winter & Spring Terms
(4–6 months in advance)
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Research Institutes
- Educational Institutions
- Arts Organizations
- Environmental Organizations
- State and Local Government
- Small Startup Organizations
- Communications and Media Organizations
Late Summer/Early Fall
(8–16 months in advance)
- Consulting Firms
- For-Profit Businesses
- Large Media & Tech Companies
- Financial Services
- International Organizations
- Federal Government
Tips for Your Search
- Start Early. Application deadlines come up quickly. Do what you can to prepare in advance.
- Make a personal connection. Whether that is through a networking contact with an alum or a recruiter at an information session or career fair, a face to face connection can make the biggest impact in your search.
- Do your best to gain experience (an internship, research, leadership, etc.) prior to senior year. This will make you a much stronger candidate and a stronger competitor.
- Many organizations are trending toward utilizing junior year internships as a main source of hiring. This could be a great way to have a stress-free senior year!
- Don’t wait until you get an interview to practice your interviewing skills. Set up a practice interview in the Career Center by calling 507.222.4293.
- Set realistic daily or weekly goals. Work with a counselor to determine what that looks like for you.
- Find a friend who is going through the same process. Keep each other motivated and practice for interviews with one another.
- When in doubt – apply! You do not always have to match 100% of the job description in order to be considered for the job (e.g., most GPA cutoffs are not in stone!)
- A typical job search can take 3-6 months. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen overnight.
- Searching for a full time job IS a full time job. Make the time to focus on it.
- Employers do not always respond to all people who apply. Try not to be discouraged if you don’t hear anything back after submitting an application.
- Many organizations accept applications on a rolling basis. When in doubt, apply before the deadline.
- The Career Center builds relationships with many of the organizations who recruit at Carleton, don’t be afraid to stop by and ask us specific employer questions.